Doctors and Families Support Prop. 12 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

09-12-03

Doctors and Families Support Prop. 12

Hundreds of patients come to the ER every week. For the doctors and nurses who work there, every day is an adventure.

Patients in need are rushed through the doors. One right after the other. All of them need care. Some need it immediately. But right now, not all patients can get the care they need.

"Sometimes I just curl up in a ball and I'll start crying cause it hurts so bad," says 12 year old Ashley who came to Mother Frances ER one morning.

She's suffers from severe gastric problems and is in constant pain.

"I sit up with her and I cry with her," says her Mom Jackie Jones. "I try and help her and there is nothing I can do to help her."

And there's nothing the doctors here can do either. She needs to see a specialist. The closest one is hundreds of miles away.

"When your child is hurting and you have to go so far to get medical attention it's not a good feeling," says Jackie. "She's sitting there balling and you can't do anything for her."

Ashley's family says rising insurance rates due to malpractice is the reason they can't find a specialist to treat her.

"Doctors are scared because so many people will sue over the least bity thing," explains Ashley's grandma Sharon Williamson and doctors in the ER agree with her.

"The threat of malpractice litigation, the cost of the insurance has threatened speciality care across the state and across the country," says Dr. Earnest Stroupe.

"What this does in the long run is force very good doctors out of practice."

If their aren't enough doctors, Dr. Stroupe fears Ashley and all East Texans could suffer.

"You could have a situation where you don't receive the type of care you need. If you are in a bad car wreck and you need to be scene your child needs to be seen, that doctor may not be there," says Stroupe.

Dr. Stroupe also says malpractice is causing your health care costs to skyrocket. He says if Prop. 12 doesn't pass, it won't get better, just worse. That's why Dr. Stroupe and Ashley's family are voting yes on Prop. 12, because they think it will stop frivolous lawsuits.

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